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February 6, 2012

Most of these great items come from my Twitter feed or Facebook news feed. Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook for more fascinating videos, articles, essays and criticism.

1. Air Force plans to cut 10,000 airmen
By Samantha Stainburn | GlobalPost | Feb. 3
“The Air Force also expects to save $8.7 billion over five years by retiring 123 fighters, 133 transport planes and 30 aircraft used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.”

2. Big donors and what they want
By Stephen Braun, Jack Gillum and Richard Lardner | Associated Press | Feb. 3
“The Associated Press reviewed financial reports, regulatory filings, court records, public statements and more to identify favors that the biggest donors so far in the presidential campaign might want in return for their contributions worth $100,000 or more.”

3. Domnica Cemortan, ‘I Am In Love With Captain Francesco Schettino’
By Sara C. Nelson | The Huffington Post UK | Feb. 3
“The 25-year-old initially denied any romantic involvement with the married captain, but last night reportedly admitted her feelings after divers found her lingerie in his cabin.”

4. Only in Austin: a legal argument about whether it’s the state capital
By Mike Ward | Austin American-Statesman | Feb. 2
“Could Austin not be the capital of Texas? That’s the assertion that Railroad Commission Chairwoman Elizabeth Ames Jones makes in a newly filed request for Attorney General Greg Abbott to resolve a nagging issue in her campaign for the Texas Senate.”

5. Parents’ finances: When the family secret is Mom’s bank balance
By Rosemary McClure | The Los Angeles Times | Feb. 3
“Conversations we loathe: Telling a spouse that it’s over. Explaining sex to our kids. Asking our elderly parents about their finances. How do you broach that last subject without sounding greedy? It’s an important conversation to initiate, experts say.”

6. In Afghan War, Officer Becomes a Whistle-Blower
By Scott Shane | The New York Times | Feb. 5
“Since enlisting in the Army in 1985, he said, he had repeatedly seen top commanders falsely dress up a dismal situation. But this time, he would not let it rest.”

7. Will America’s Solar Civil War Destroy The Industry?
By Carl Franzen | Talking Points Memo | Feb. 6
“Behind the headlines of a looming solar trade war between the U.S. and China is a messy fight between two major sectors of the American solar industry — manufacturers against ‘downstream’ companies.”

8. Notable Authors Give Snail Mail a Boost
By John Williams | ArtsBeat :: The New York Times | Feb. 3
“For $5 a month, readers of the Web site The Rumpus can receive a new letter every week or so from writers including Dave Eggers, Jonathan Ames, Aimee Bender and The Rumpus’s editor in chief Stephen Elliott, who came up with the idea.”

9. It’s the pits
By Tracy Clark-Flory | Salon | Feb. 2
“A middle-aged man says he ‘can be sexually aroused’ by women’s shaved underarms. Our experts sniff at his kink”

10. Funeral of Winston Churchill
Witness :: BBC News | Jan. 24
“With the death of Sir Winston Churchill Britain went into mourning for its great wartime leader.”

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